Last fall, I was able to take advantage of an opportunity to study in a country that is awesome in every sense of the word: Australia. The Australian take on fashion really resonated with me and I find myself often incorporating it into my personal style now that I'm back stateside. Aussie model Abbey Lee Kershaw summed it up well in an interview for Australian mag Cleo when asked what she misses most about Oz by saying, "I miss walking barefoot in Melbourne." Along the lines of that sentiment, I view the Australian way of dressing as sort of floaty, earthy, and laid-back but conversely also having a tough edge. While we usually pair summer sandals with our pretty shorts and dresses, Australians are far more likely to have on socks and lace-up boots or beat-up sneakers, even with the frilliest of frocks. Sort of like if you were to wear your laciest beach coverup with men's workboots for a walk from Bondi to Coogee (google image search for reference. . breathtaking).
Australian celebrities such as Miranda Kerr, Gemma Ward, and Sophie Monk are all familiar faces in the US whose styles of dressing seem to embody the Aussie laid-back lifestyle, but none to the degree of Australian model Isabel Lucas in particular. She'll often be seen complementing her relaxed sundresses with a hippie-chic headband or a menswear hat, along with a no-fuss satchel and those unexpectedly (and unnecessarily--is she really going for a hike in her best dress?) sturdy leather boots. Queens of juxtaposition, Aussie girls will also let their most tattered old sneakers stand in for the boots at times, which of course are coupled with flowy skirts or their prettiest paisley blouses.
There are three brands that I fell irrevocably in love with whilst abroad that I think stateside fashionistas should be familiar with: MINKPINK, sass & bide, and Tigerlily. Fortunately, said brands are all available in the US (online if not in boutiques) and I've listed a few choice pieces from each below (many of them on sale!). For those who are taken with the Australian way of mixing boho/flirty silhouettes with earth-toned/sturdy extras, I've also included the shopping links so you can snag some Aussie swag yourself.
1. MINKPINK Mozambique Flare Tank, shopbop.com, $30
2. MINKPINK Darling Buds of May Sundress, shopbop.com,
$103 (sale $51.50)
3. MINKPINK Drama Queen Lace Vest, shopbop.com, $28.50
sass & bide
1. sass & bide Keeping My Freedom Top, shopbop.com, $133
2. sass & bide Getting It Right Shirtdress, shopbop.com,
$429 (sale $128.70)
3. sass & bide The Same Answers Tunic, shopbop.com, $165 (sale $82.50)
1. Tigerlily Elba Jacket, tigerlilyaustralia.com, $161
2. Tigerlily Consuelo 1PC Monokini, tigerlilyaustralia.com, $94.50
3. Tigerlily Odyssey Shirt Dress, tigerlilyaustralia.com, $100
4. Tigerlily Equator Mumu, tigerlilyaustralia.com, $75
5. Tigerlily Varadero Dress, tigerlilyaustralia.com, $110